The Broncos have a new minority owner: Condoleezza Rice.
Rob Walton, whose Walton-Penner family recently purchased the Broncos, announced today that Rice is on board with the organization. She presumably will own a very small percentage of the team but use her connections in the political world to the team’s advantage.
“We’re pleased to welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to our ownership group,” Walton’s statement said. “A highly respected public servant, accomplished academic and corporate leader, Secretary Rice is well known as a passionate and knowledgeable football fan who has worked to make the sport stronger and better. She is the daughter of a football coach and served on the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee. She moved to Denver with her family when she was 12 years old and went on to attend the University of Denver for both college and graduate school. Her unique experience and extraordinary judgment will be a great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization.”
Rice is well known as a big football fan, and her connections with the Broncos go back to the 1970s, when she dated Broncos star kick returner Rick Upchurch while she was working on her doctorate. She has had other NFL ties in the past and was once even floated as a potential head coach of the Browns. That wasn’t happening, but she now has a legitimate role in the NFL.